At Crave, there’s something for everyone. So if you find yourself in the midst of a real meal time pickle because Suzie wants sushi, and Bob wants a burger; but all you have in mind is a sumptuous patio and a pitcher of sangria, everyone can still win. Crave, conveniently located just across the street from the Convention Center downtown, is a fresh American fusion restaurant that offers a little bit of everything, from delectable sushi rolls to sizzling steaks, making it the perfect spot for birthdays, group outings, and celebrations of all sorts. Crave has a friendly family feel, but is also a place where adults feel comfortable. There’s a special menu for the kiddos, and a complimentary fruit cup given to parties with children so grownups can have an uninterrupted moment to peruse the menu.
For us, a solid brunch spot is everything, and we highly recommend checking out Crave’s luxurious late morning offerings, especially since Happy Hour runs from 7-4 on Saturdays and ALL DAY Sundays! It’s a great in town brunch, and for $22.95, the possibilities are endless at the grand buffet style with an omelette station, biscuits, bacon–the whole works. There’s even an in house pastry chef at Crave to satisfy all your sweet tooth’s demands, at brunch or anytime. The real draw for the 21+ crowd is the Bloody Mary & Mimosa bars though. At the Bloody Mary bar, guests can choose from Absolut brand’s peppered vodka, cilantro vodka, or Texas vodka, and choose from 10 different fresh juices at the Mimosa bar. (First drink is complimentary with the price of brunch, and afterwards, mimosas go for $3.50, Bloody Marys for $5.50.)
On our visit to Crave, we opted for dining on the gorgeous, open patio, and eased into our meal with some signature drinks. We tried the White Sangria, Dirty Flirt, and Longhorn Buck. The White Sangria is crafted with Torrontes, St. Germain, fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries for the ultimate refreshing patio drink. For all the martini lovers out there, don’t be demure about ordering the Dirty Flirt. It’s made with Grey Goose and olive juice, and garnished with prosciutto and blue cheese stuffed olives. This drink calls for slingback sandals and a face that smirks. And as for a Crave drink that encapsulates the spirit of Texas, the Longhorn Buck is made with Bulleit rye, Strawberry Moonshine, fresh lime, and Gosling’s ginger beer. It’s sweet, sensitive, and perfect for sipping–definitely the Carrie of the bunch.
We decided to feast on some of the many amazing Happy Hour options at Crave, and started off with the edamame, which comes in a gluten free option, made with a Tamari glaze rather than the regular soy sauce, still giving the same savory flavor burst you’re accustomed to.
Then the ante was upped with edamame cream cheese wontons made with a smooth cream cheese and pureed edamame filling, made fresh daily. It’s like a dressed up, classier version of a Crab Rangoon, and comes served with a sweet chili dipping sauce.
The burger sliders are by all means not your average sliders, believe you me. Made with smoked cheddar and sautéed onions, served on Hawaiian sweet rolls, they’re incredibly difficult to eat without cracking a smile.
The lemon garlic wings are clearly not the average or wimpy wings you might find at the neighborhood sports bar. Rather, they are large and in charge, marinated in a house made lemon garlic sauce, and grilled, served up with a blue cheese dressing and cucumber stick garnishes.
With in house sushi chefs crafting rolls with fresh ingredients daily, Crave manages to contend with restaurants who operate with sushi as their mainstay. We tried the Mexican Roll, made with tuna, escolar, jalapeno, avocado, cilantro, spicy mayo, and a soy citrus sauce. The flavors are brought out perfectly with just a light spritz of lime before indulging. We also tried the Bamboo Bite made with crunchy tempura shrimp, cream cheese topped with avocado, thin slices of jalapeno, and hibachi and unogi sauces. Its simplicity is what makes it beautiful and freakin’ delicious. Top pick, y’all. Top pick.
Though quite stuffed, you should know by now that we always have room in our dessert stomach, so we got down on some of the Crave Miniatures in the flavors of sweet potato pie with a marshmallow creme and gingersnap cookie, blueberry cheesecake with graham cracker, fresh blueberry, and shaved white chocolate, and a traditional tiramisu cheesecake made with espresso soaked white cake, mascarpone cheese, and shaved chocolate. Which is our favorite? That’s one secret we’ll never tell. But we will say that we went into the tasting without a strong penchant for sweet potato pie, and left wanting more. That’s what’s perfect about the dessert miniatures– they give you just enough of a taste without causing you to overload your britches.
You can take advantage of the incredible Crave patio and feast on all these same treats and more very economically, because Happy Hour is every Monday-Friday from 4-7, 11-4 on Saturday, and all day every Sunday. Our server, Trang Dang told us, “I can’t sell something I don’t really like,” and it shows in the passion and excitement of the entire staff of Crave. They love their food and are proud of what they have to offer. We’re proud to share them with you as Restaurant of the Week!